- Croat booked into Harare hotel as accommodation not yet finalised
- Logarušic requests Samsung galaxy note 9
- Croat to earn US$7 000 a month
Report by Rusununguko Shone
WHEN the question and answer session at his unveiling ceremony concluded, moments before the adjournment of the event, fans and journalists alike were literally grovelling at his feet, waiting for a chance to pose with the charming Zdravko Logarušic.
The opposite can be said about the time he walked into a conference room filled with inquisitive journalists waiting for a chance to probe him about his seemingly controversial track record and penchant for not staying employed.
The first question was meant to belittle and mock his person and abilities as a coach, but the rebuttal from Logarusic set the tone for what turned out to be an excellent audition in the face of neutrals.
That was enough to explain why the recruitment team in the Technical Development Committee of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) had fallen for him. Charisma.
Omnipotent and omnipresent, he took it all in, marvelling at how swiftly he had won everyone over, without even conducting one training session with the Warriors.
Despite publicly commending the appointment of local assistant coaches by ZIFA, the next morning The Herald alleged that Logarusic had asked ZIFA to axe his predecessor Joseph Antipas.
All this happening while he is still staying at a room at Cresta Lodge, probably because of the ineptitude of the federation in not securing the expatriate’s lodgings before his arrival.
While ZIFA are still shopping for the coach’s wheels, Loga has the luxury of being chauffeured around by a senior member of the ZIFA secretariat. That it has taken this long probably means that the choice of vehicle made by the coach is too steep for his employer
Logarušic has also requested for a pricey Samsung galaxy note 9 which is not readily available but a business person promised to import one specifically for the coach.
In one of the two Freudian slips made during his unveiling ceremony, Logarušic indicated that money [or lack thereof] motivated his departure from Sudan, leading to his arrival in Zimbabwe.
His signing on fee is reportedly in the region of US$35 000 while his monthly net is almost US$7 000.
“There was no funding from the government to the federation,” Logarusic said of the Sudan FA.
There is none either in Zimbabwe, but he is here, for now.
Norman Mapeza, Kalisto Pasuwa and Charles Mhlauri are among a long list local coaches who are owed by ZIFA while one of foreign coaches who were owed led to the banishment of the Warriors from partaking in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
ZIFA President Felton Kamambo gloated when he was asked whether ZIFA had the funds to sustain Logarušic’s wage bill, stating that they wouldn’t have hired him if they were unable to pay him.
The hushed-tones side meeting held by Acting ZIFA Vice president Phillemon Machana and scribes Robson Sharuko and Petros Kausiyo might have thrashed out an armistice, but Logarusic has until his first game to earn the goodwill of some sections of the media whom he rubbed off the wrong way on the day of his unveiling.
Real work begins soon for the affable gaffer who promised to improve Zimbabwe’s competitiveness by 10 to 15%.
Logarušic admits he has tough assignment but believes he is the right man for the job.